31 May 2019 Why is a well-designed kitchen important to Food Safety?
Food Safety and high levels of hygiene are vital for any commercial kitchen. Working spaces need to maintain an excellent standard of cleanliness, and a well-designed kitchen layout can help to achieve this.
Here are some ideas on how design can impact on your kitchen’s food safety.
When designing a kitchen, consider how your food will flow from its raw state to the finished plate. This should follow one direction, wherever possible, from delivery to storage to preparation, with separate areas, utensils and cutting boards used for handling raw, cooked and service-ready food. This clearly defined pathway will help to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. In small spaces, this might mean some very careful planning as to how your area is used.
There is a need for strong lighting to illuminate your working space and allow you visibility when cleaning your kitchen. In a kitchen area, it is important that lights are selected and designed not to be dirt traps but so they are easy to dismantle and clean. In addition, shatterproof glass or covers should be used as standard to stop broken glass falling into food or equipment. Similar consideration should be paid to all kitchen fittings with worktops that are easy to maintain and cupboards which are easily accessible for thorough cleaning.
The type of floor covering that a kitchen has can help to maintain food safety. As well as being easy to clean, they need to be non-slip, light in colour and non-absorbent. The material should be hard wearing and coved to fit the surface completely as any gaps form potential bacteria traps.
All kitchen equipment should be easy to clean with no areas where bacteria and dirt can lurk. This is an important consideration for all the fiddlier items, such as mixers, fryers, knife stores, juicers, meat slicers etc, which all need to be straightforward to clean after each use. In addition, they need to be stored in a place where their cleanliness can be maintained.
Sinks and easy access to water is a top priority in a kitchen with excellent hygiene. Multiple sinks might be needed to cover the different types of food preparation and, where this isn’t possible, staff should be trained to understand how sinks need to be sanitised after each use. Ideally, sinks should be divided into 3 sections for washing, rinsing and sanitising.